The pups came from as far away as New Jersey and Tennessee in hopes of landing a new nickname: "Beautiful Bulldog."
They were all defeated by a native son who likes eating snow and watching turtles.
A 2-year-old dog from Des Moines named Tank won the 36th annual Beautiful Bulldog contest Sunday at Drake University. The tongue-in-cheek beauty pageant, which featured 50 dogs, is the kickoff event for the Drake Relays track meet.
"He's funny," said Tank's owner, Duane Smith. "He's a real good one."
Pageant organizers narrowed a pool of over 100 hopeful pups by a lottery held last month.
Judges weren't looking for beauty though.
They wanted to see the slobber, drool and bulging, bloodshot eyes synonymous with English bulldogs.
They got all that and more from Tank — who now willingly shares his house with a Pomeranian and some turtles after Smith found him on Craigslist a year ago.
Tank will be put to work right away as the mascot for the Drake Relays, which will be held from Thursday through Saturday.
Should Tank be unable to fulfill his duties, fellow Des Moines pup Steve will step in.
Steve was second even though he was initially so shy about the makeshift catwalk set up on Drake's basketball court that his owner had to pick him up and plunk him down, much to the delight of the few thousand spectators on hand.
There also was a "Best Dressed" winner in Linus the Lovebug — who had to be dragged around in a wagon because of arthritic legs — and the congeniality award went to a dog named Princess Mabel.
If there was an award for driving the furthest to enter the contest it would've gone to Ronnie Sussman and her dog Bex, who drove 17 hours from Union, New Jersey.
Sussman and Bex will go home empty-handed, but she said the trip was more than worth it.
"This is just like a bucket list item of life for me," Sussman said.